2024 Advocacy Initiatives

The Hawaiian Humane Society regularly engages in efforts to improve our state and local animal laws. Current efforts include:

Bills Introduced in the 2024 State Legislative Session that Have Our Support

Housing Access for Pet Owners

A trio of bills this session recognize the critical need to expand housing access for pet owners. The inability to find housing that welcomes pets is among the most common reasons that people need to find new homes for beloved family members. This is a preventable tragedy that takes a terrible toll on people and pets.

SB2564 Relating to Pet Animals

This bill prohibits insurers from refusing to issue, refusing to renew, canceling, or establishing higher rates for a homeowners insurance policy or dwelling fire insurance policy based on the breed of any dog that is kept on the premises. Requires any pet animal found on the premises during an eviction to be given to the owner or taken in by an animal control agency. Limits the monetary amount of pet deposits and pet rent. Clarifies that a provision allowing a lien on an animal to secure payment for caring for or feeding the animal does not apply to pet animals.

This measure is modeled after similar laws around the country that have improved housing access for pet owners, most recently passing in Colorado.


HB1905 / SB2563 Relating to Public Housing

This bill requires the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to allow any resident of a public housing project or state low-income housing project to keep one or more pet animals in the resident’s unit, subject to applicable state laws, county ordinances, and any reasonable conditions. Provides that the Authority may charge a refundable deposit for each pet animal but shall not impose a monthly pet fee or pet rent.

This measure is modeled on California’s public housing statute and would expand access to public housing managed by private contractors, as well as removing arbitrary restrictions around size or breed that are irrelevant to an animal’s ability to be a well-behaved pet.


HB2187 / SB2874 Relating to Taxation

This bill establishes a non-refundable income tax credit for residential landlords who lease a unit to a tenant with a pet for at least six months.

This measure is being championed by two Maui lawmakers whose constituents have struggled to relocate with their pet animals in the wake of the wildfires. Its benefits would apply statewide.


Animal Cruelty & Animal Law Enforcement

The legislature is considering several measures that would prevent or punish harm to animals and improve animal law enforcement.          

HB1527 / SB2562 Relating to Veterinary Medicine

This bill prohibits animal owners and their employees from performing any surgical procedures on their pets.

This measure closes a loophole in the veterinary licensing statute that owners have used to operate on their own animals, or hire unqualified people to do so, resulting animals being harmed by backyard surgeries ranging from ear-flap removal to cesarean sections.

HB1980 / SB2684 Relating to Animal Cruelty

This bill creates penalties relating to the fighting of birds. 

The measure is the result of a collaboration with local law enforcement – including police and prosecutors across the state – and Hawaiʻi animal advocate, Inga Gibson, with the goal of providing more impactful tools to combat this blood sport in our state. 


HB1580 Relating to Animal Cruelty

This bill amends the criminal penalties for various animal cruelty offenses by increasing the category of offense.

Animal abuse is too often disregarded or lightly punished by the legal system despite the terrible toll that takes on animals and the proven connections between these crimes and violence perpetrated against vulnerable human beings. This bill would increase those penalties.


HB2058 / SB2692 Relating to Dangerous Dogs

This bill establishes requirements and penalties for owners of dangerous dogs and allows for impounding of dangerous dogs under certain conditions.

Recent brutal dog attacks on Hawaiʻi Island highlighted the inadequacies of the current county-based system of regulating dangerous dogs. This measure creates a statewide dangerous dog law and adds a felony penalty for bites that maim or kill a person. It will also standardize the rules statewide, improve law enforcement tools and reduce the damaging long-term impoundment of dogs.


HB1682 / SB2120 Relating to Pet Sales

This bill requires stores that sell pet animals to keep records of where those animals are acquired and any pertinent health information, and to provide those records to the purchaser of individual animals as well as law enforcement.

The measure would protect consumers and provide law enforcement with a baseline level on transparency on who is breeding animals for profit.


HB1671 / SB2561 Relating to Animal Endangerment

Prohibits intentionally leaving or confining pet animals in a vehicle under conditions that endanger their health, safety, or well-being. Permits law enforcement officers, animal control officers, and firefighters to enter an unattended vehicle to protect the health, safety, or well-being of a pet animal that is endangered by being left or confined in an unattended vehicle. Allows private citizens to rescue a pet animal that has been left in an unattended vehicle under certain circumstances.


Human-Animal Bond

Our animal welfare champions in the Legislature have introduced several bills that recognize the importance of the human-animal bond.

SB3262 Relating to Veterinarians

This bill renames the John A. Burns School of Medicine special fund as the physician and veterinarian special fund; expands the authorized uses of the special fund to include providing loan repayments to veterinarians and scholarships for students attending a veterinary college, provided that the recipient commits to work in the State for a period of time determined by the Hawaiʻi Board of Veterinary Medicine; requires the Hawaiʻi Board of Veterinary Medicine to establish a loan repayment and scholarship program; and appropriates moneys into and out of the physician and veterinarian special fund, among other provisions.

The shortage of veterinarians practicing in the state is taking a toll on pet owners, pets and local veterinarians. The program outlined in this measure would help combat that shortage and improve access to care.


SB2565 Relating to Public Parks

This bill prohibits counties from prohibiting leashed dogs in public parks and establishes penalties for leaving dog excrement on public or private property.

Fewer than half of Oʻahu’s public parks allow owners to walk leashed dogs, and some distinctions are so arbitrary that they amount to gotcha law enforcement. This bill would improve access to parks for dog owners.


HB2226 / SB2094 Relating to Corrections

This bill requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish a two-year pilot program to allow inmates incarcerated at the women’s community correctional center to foster pets while incarcerated.


SB2698 Relating to Dogs

This bill allows dogs in restaurants at the restaurant owner’s or manager’s discretion, provided that certain conditions are met.

This measure is similar to a bill that Hawaiian Humane championed in 2019.


Other Bills of Interest

SB2114 Relating to Feral Animals

This bill prohibits the feeding of feral animals within a certain distance from Department of Education public school campuses. 

To avoid being counterproductive, this measure needs to exempt population management programs as feeding is an essential component of both trap-neuter-return for Free-Roaming cats and avian birth control for feral chickens. We will be asking for that amendment. 



The Hawaiian Humane Society supports efforts to remove fireworks from residential neighborhoods by keeping these dangerous products out of our state entirely and/or enhancing enforcement. We oppose efforts to liberalize firework laws. 



HB1888 / SB2230 Relating to Fireworks

This bill imposes a statewide limitation on consumer fireworks, except by permit for use at cultural events. This measure has our support. 


HB2193 / SB2093 Relating to Fireworks

This bill authorizes law enforcement and fire officers to enter and inspect any licensee’s or permittee’s premises, under certain conditions, to verify compliance with the State’s Fireworks Control Law; establishes procedures for the Department of Law Enforcement to conduct administrative inspections of controlled premises; requires certain licensees and permittees to keep records and maintain inventories; requires licensees and permittees to report any stolen fireworks or articles pyrotechnic; and authorizes a law enforcement agency or county fire department to safely dispose confiscated fireworks and articles pyrotechnic, among other provisions. It has our support. 


HB2459 / SB3148 Relating to Illegal Fireworks

This bill amends Chapter 132D, HRS, to strengthen county and state agencies’ ability to address the illegal use of fireworks in Hawaiʻi. It has our support. 



HB2269 Relating to Fireworks

This bill requires the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to conduct a study on the potential impacts of permitting the sale of aerial devices in the State. 

We oppose this measure, which asks DCCA to explore regulating the sale of dangerous fireworks rather than continuing with criminal penalties for their use. We prefer the bills that are focused on preventing these explosives from getting into our neighborhoods. 


Feral Chickens

The Hawaiian Humane Society supports nonlethal control of feral chickens and will be testifying to that effect on the following bills. 


HB2046 Relating to Feral Chicken Management

This bill requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and counties to collaborate on feral chicken management projects and appropriates funds. 


HB2191 / SB2401 Relating to Feral Chickens

This bill appropriates funds to the City and County of Honolulu and the Department of Health for feral chicken control program and a feeding of feral animals educations program, respectively.